Biden keeps insulting reporters – and damaging himself in the process

It comes with the territory, along with threats to sue if you publish a controversial story.

But usually it happens away from the cameras.

Amerikaanse. President Joe Biden holds a formal news conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., VS, Januarie 19, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Amerikaanse. President Joe Biden holds a formal news conference in the East Room of the White House, in Washington, D.C., VS, Januarie 19, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

Met President Biden, it’s increasingly happening with wit Huis correspondents, sometimes on hot mics that by this point, the guy who was caught praising Barack Obama’s health law as a big blanking deal must know are an occupational hazard.

I’ve covered Biden on and off since the 1980s, and he used to like sparring with reporters. That suggests to me he is really feeling the pressures of the presidency during this very rough stretch, and for all his time on the national stage he’s not used to having every word analyzed and criticized.

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The problem is he’s starting to look thin-skinned. And petty. There are a dozen different ways that a president can defuse questions he doesn’t like, from humor to deflection to all-out defense. He can even challenge the premise of the question.

En kyk, journalists sometimes ask obnoxious questions. Or unfair questions. Of, if they work for television and are under the briefing-room lights, grandstanding questions. That’s life. Professional politicians and press secretaries have to be able to deal with it.

Nou Donald Trump obviously went much further as president. He regularly called journalists morons and idiots, fake news and enemies of the people, which his base loved, and I just as regularly criticized the over-the-top rhetoric. But there’s a crucial distinction: The former president was covered with what became outright hostility–this was far deeper than Jim Acosta–and his way of counter punching in an effort to discredit his interlocutors.

Biden, in kontras met, has generally drawn sympathetic coverage until recent months. And even the more aggressive questions he fielded at last week’s marathon presser were about his policies and performance, rather than questioning his character.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: Amerikaanse. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on January 19, 2022 in WashDCgton, DC. With his approval rating hovering around 42 persentasie, Biden is approaching the end of his first year in the Oval Office with inflation soaring, COVID-19 raging and his legislative agenda stalled on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 19: Amerikaanse. President Joe Biden talks to reporters during a news conference in the East Room of the White House on January 19, 2022 in Washington, DC. With his approval rating hovering around 42 persentasie, Biden is approaching the end of his first year in the Oval Office with inflation soaring, COVID-19 raging and his legislative agenda stalled on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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